What Is A Bearded Axe: History, Design & Advantages

What Is A Bearded Axe

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If you’ve ever worked with axes before, chances are, you’ve heard of a bearded axe in your work.

In layman’s terms, an ax with a beard portion extends the cutting edge below the butt. However, you might not know that there are many variations and shapes of the bearded ax design. 

Hence, I thought of explaining the different types and appropriately answering what is a bearded axe.

Brief History of Bearded Axe

Axes have been in use forever, but we can see the first instance of a bearded axe in the 6th Century AD. Early Viking era Scandinavians incorporated these axes into their daily livelihood, ranging from woodwork to actual battles. 

This ax design, in particular, was named such because of its protruding lower portion. Since it looked like a “beard” to people, it was named the bearded ax and had many variations.

The General Design

In terms of design, the bearded ax has a simple yet effective usage of its blade. The lower portion of the axe has a flat design instead of a pointy one. This aspect is threateningly enhanced by the resilient, thick body of the handle.

With a tool like this, you can make exceptionally accurate cuts and shave without putting in much force. Perhaps this reason is why woodworkers prefer a bearded ax for woodworking, even in this day and age.

Advantages of Bearded Axe

If I were to think of one advantage that made this ax superior over other designs, it would be the bearded design.

We all know wood is lighter than metal, and the more wood a tool has, the easier it would be to use.

A bearded axe has the least amount of heavy metal among a plethora of options like swords and hammers. Since the ax is lightweight, it is extremely capable in the hands of a skilled woodworker since it can make ultra-precise cuts.


How is the bearded ax head designed?

A bearded ax will have the lower portion of the head protruding over the wooden handle.

Dane ax vs. bearded ax – what is the difference?

In terms of utility, a Dane ax is used for cutting leatherwork and inflicting flesh wounds, while a bearded axe is used for precision woodworking.

Bearded axe vs. normal axe – which is better?

From a perspective of usefulness, you can use a bearded ax for works requiring precision and accuracy.

How do I know I have a functional bearded ax?

A bearded ax would be functional if you could comfortably place your hand behind the beard portion of the ax.

Final Verdict

Bearded axes are excellent tools for a lot of purposes. Even in this day and age, you will find people using these axes for carpentry, leatherwork, animal hunting, etc. It speaks volumes, in this instance, about the tool’s utility in various fields.

Hopefully, my guide has helped you learn what is a bearded axe most adeptly.

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